The creation of a personal trainer.
So it is finally official. I am registered and will be starting class on October first at the National Personal Training Institute. It is a 6 month program Monday-Thursday (5 hours a day) that will include 300 hours of class work and 200 hours of practical training which will result in a 'diploma of personal training', ACE, CPR/first aid and AED certifications.
For the last 6 months more or less I have been working two jobs, one of which was graveyard shift, and my own business and a ridiculous amount of commuting. This means I have had very VERY little time and energy to exercise, while working most days of the week, sometimes both jobs every day several days in a row, getting between 1-3 hours of sleep on those nights and recovering the other days. I am not in very good shape at all to my standards, I am 241lbs at 5'10", but I cannot let my career wait longer. I am switching to a full time job, 40-50 hours of work including my own business, 10-15 hours a week of commuting, and the 20 hours of school+homework. I will be apocalyptically busy. I will be apocalyptically tired. I will succeed anyway in being a perfect student and getting myself in superb shape in 6 months of training.
This will be my planning journal, my reflections and thoughts on the process (lots of negative judging on their stupid nutrition program probably...I'm going to be an RD, and I know a lot of what they teach is wrong), and my workout log as well, with my diet also, most likely. I have a good idea of what the school is like, as my girlfriend did 2+ months of it before having to stop for medical reasons, though I hope she may be able to return come January but we shall see. I welcome questions and comments as this is certainly an interesting perspective on the body building world, though I know we have other actual personal trainers, CSCS and other highly qualified fitness professionals here.
So I will be doing everything I can to get myself a bit more prepared in the intervening month, with daily stretching, yoga whenever I can fit it, cardio and hiking whenever I can, and in the same ilk, endurance and strength based lifting to get back in lifting shape.
I will be testing some of my max reps and weights and other such stats soon, heart rate, etc. as I get the chance, but some initial measurements are below, which I will recheck soon. I will also use my caliper later tonight or tomorrow and add more stats.
belly button: 48"
Solar Plexus: 46"
6" proximal of patella: 25.5"
3" Distal from hip bone on quad: 30"
peak of biceps flex: 15"
neck flexing: 17.66"
Finally managed a veeery brief workout, but it got the job done. I intended on doing my routine 100-125 reps of leg press then do some squats at home, but was getting some pain around what I imagine as my meniscus, so stopped early. It totally kicked my *** though, having severe difficulty with stairs. Step by step when I can, but I generally expect to have my *** handed to me once school starts. I'll do what I can for now anyway though.
I am finding more things I need to work on as I move towards NPTI, tonight that being my grip. A lot of my muscular strength has stayed, as well as some degrees of endurance (not mentioning my muscular bulk has barely changed, except my legs which are getting back into position), but my grip is very poor. I am having troubles fatiguing various muscle groups because my hands are fatiguing out too quickly, but that's what my hand vice is for. I will be working on this in the weeks to come, along with my lower back and my hip as possible, among other things.
Tonight I went pretty light, maybe half the volume I would have preferred but its best to go at this bit by bit and stay consistent. Come monday I'm on a normal 40 hour a week schedule for a couple weeks before school starts, so I will be trying very hard to get my mind back into the game (I've been doing virtually nothing the last week or two, maybe to compensate for the chaos ahead) and get prepped as well as possible.
All of this, as usual, is on my ****ty apartment universal gym. Decided my hands needed a break instead of finishing off with my free weights at home.
Bicep Bar Cable Curl:
Triceps Pull Downs:
Gonna hit my shake, and then some yoga in a bit, and maybe some cardio as well.
Todays exercise was 2 hours of sperlunking through the ape caves, crawling over and climbing up boulders and what not, and a 30 min hike back. Some parts dangerous, but overall a good workout. Lots of stabilizers worked hard, was hard on my damaged tendon, one fall, lots of scrapes, and a couple smoooshed bananas in my gym bag :p
Nothing much today, still some of my stabilizers in my ankles and what not are not recovered yet from caving, so no hiking today.
30 minutes moderate cycling with sprints. ~7 miles, ~180 calories.
So NPTI has started, I've been through three days of class and training now. I would have posted but the abc server was erroring out.
So the lectures are fantastic. Arik is the lead teacher and owner/operator of the particular school location, he's an awesome teacher, very funny and good at keeping our attention. Its very motivating so far, luckily I have a pretty good basic kinesiology and anatomy foundation so a lot of it I already know, but at the same time there are just revolutionary ideas for me like the alternating chain of mobile and stabilizing joints/regions. In Tuesdays class I wrote down 11 substantial things wrong with my body, here summarized in less:
1: chronic 10 year insomnia. My system is just so screwed up its like trying to put a rock back together from sand.
2: over mobilized and weak lower back from slipped disk/muscle strain due to back dead lift.
3: tendon damage in right wrist due to a fall during martial arts training, probably life long.
4: Some kind of weird pain in my left palm, somewhere in the carpals. No idea what it is or why its there.
5: what may be planar fasciatus, bloody painful in my left foot along one of the main tendons.
6: exposed ulnar nerve, or something weird with it.
7: unbalanced hip flexors/leg adductor/abductor. My feet point out considerably in neutral stance. Too much leg press with toes out.
8: Bracitus in both shoulders, at least I still have the severe looseness, especially in the left shoulder.
9: Severe pain in right hip, no idea what or why. Terribly hard to get around some days with it with random regular activity.
10: Lower cross
I expect and hope to fix most of these in the next 6 months. I have already changed my behavior and stance in a few areas of activity to stop making everything worse.
So we had a considerable workout the first night, the last two have been minimal. I should have gone to class today but I'm just going to hit 10 hours in a week and a half to stock some extra hours.
Day 1: aside from lessons, demonstrations, and warmups it made for a pretty good short workout. It wrecked my hands if nothing else, especially after some kettlebell worouts, inverse lat pulls, and some others. We did 3 circuits I believe: bridge, making waves with both then one hand alternating with a huge 1"+ diameter ropes 20' off, row machine (the cardio full version, not lifting), and I just can't remember the other two. It definitely worked me though and killed my grip. Something that will probably improve soon, but definitely a target of focus.
Day 2: Balance work, really quite light. Didn't manage a sweat. I can't remember most of the circuits there either now, needed to get them down sooner.
Day 3: Bit more of a workout circuit but not as much as monday. The first two days I felt miserable and ***ked up due to fatigue. Much better last night, I felt good. 1: ski cardio machine, 2: burpees, 3: frog bridge, 4: step climb/jump, 5: jump rope.
At the end I wanted to just keep lifting, but I had to get home and prep for today..which I didn't even attend.
Overall very happy with my choice of career entry and this school. The industry is moving towards licensing instead of just certifying and this is the place to prepare for such a thing. We're also more physical therapists in a big way than trainers. We train, certainly, but with the bulk of clients outside of sports teams my job will mostly be correcting bad physical behaviors and issues like the compacting of organs and nerves from bad vertebral shape, etc. I am excited and enjoying myself.
An excerpt of my written notes in my words to describe the spinal issues
Every system in your body below the skull is dependent on the signals coming from the brain through the spine. If you change the natural curving shape of the vertebral column, both the electrical signals sent and the organs around the spine get compressed/impinged. This will cause pain, discomfort, bad adaptions to relieve these symptoms, and will/can cause future issues across multiple systems. Your breathing, your digestion, even the electricity being sent to your reproductive system to generate testosterone. Issues in these systems have strong negative effects all across your body. Fixing the structure of the spine and the signals it sends, it relieves a lot of stress making functions of the body easier, and fixing many direct issues.
Eye fatigue level terrible come class time, but it was more misery than workout deterring. However, what usually happens is the practical instructor has some lecturing and demonstrating to do with us directly, maybe having us try things, but then to have us go through those principles and expand on them, understand them, and do them, he has the 'returners' (3/6 month students) run us newer people through some of them, possibly ending in a circuit made up of these exercises.
We started tonight with some lecture (in the practical that is, following the 2.5 hours of in-class lecture) on blood pressure, using stethoscopes and blood pressure equipment, but then went into the gym to work on upper/lower cross remedies. I have both severe upper cross, and some degree of lower cross. I did an amalgam of the below, not doing any actual routines with distinct sets.
inverse trx rows
cardio row machine
ski cardio machine
something like a standing pull down/pullover.
bridge/weighted pelvic raise.
A bit removed from class now (intend to record in class from now on but had to hurry) so I cannot recall if there were other noteworthy exercises.
With extra tired sleep (late night cat ER visit), and being in class, it appears that my resting heart rate is 71 (compared to totally rested but with green tea 65 last week), and an apparent 131/82 BP. We'll have to see about that latter one. I had a physical last friday and will have to get BP and testosterone results from them soon.
I will be trying to conduct regular, maybe every morning BP tracking to see the pattern through the stress adaptation curve, and track my bodies overall adaptive progress throughout my time here. I may also test BP before class, before workout, after if possible as well.
So in working to deal with upper and lower cross issues, these are a few exercises I can work on to help combat this issue.
First and foremost really is just proper posture. Neutral shoulders (aka at my sides), back straight, no arching of my lumbar past natural, etc.
Anything where I am stretching and widening the chest, while strengthening the back (mostly). Any kind of row, making sure not to round the back, and pinching the scapula together. Reverse pec fly, any kind of pec/chest stretching. Pushing the head back into a car seat, and a forward neck exercise. More to come.
Activating the glutes, keeping the lower back as a stabilizer, but strengthening it as well. Bridges are fantastic, hyper extensions (or at least back extensions).
Once I get more of a chance to look over my notes I will expand this but a bunch of these are fine from home as is, and I'll be working on it more anyway over the next several months/forever.
First nutrition class. Wasn't too bad, but I know parts will annoy me, though my teacher seems to at least recognize that the mypyramid/plate stuff is at least in part foolish. We'll see.
Practical started with circumference and bodyfat calculations (tapes and calipers). I still need to take beginning pictures of myself at various angles to chart my progress and change, but for now here are tonight's measurements:
arm- L: 17.5, R 17.5 (this seems larger than I thought but I can recheck later)
sub scapula- 47
mid ax- 40
This calculates to 31.52% bodyfat. I definitely have my work cut out for me.
So the practical 'workout' was a bit of balance work, and then lots of agility cones. I had street (well, casual work really) shoes on, which weren't really appropriate for this, and had some severe tightness around my big toes metatarsal, on top of feeling extra miserable. As such I sat out some of the workouts.
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